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Pediatr Res. 2017 Jan;81(1-2):227-232. doi: 10.1038/pr.2016.193. Epub 2016 Sep 27.

Drugs, guns and cars: how far we have come to improve safety in the United States; yet we still have far to go.

Dodington J1,2,3,4, Violano P3,4, Baum CR1,2, Bechtel K1,2,3,4.

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Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Injury Prevention, Community Outreach and Research, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut.
Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut.


Significant breakthroughs in the field of injury prevention and childhood safety have occurred during the past half-century. For example, the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 and the institution of child passenger safety laws are responsible for a significant reduction in injuries among children and adolescents. This review will focus on the following three topics because of their significant contribution to pediatric injury morbidity, especially among adolescents, and their promise for further effective prevention research. Opioid overdoses by adolescents and young adults are increasing; however, the use of naloxone by bystanders represents a life-saving development in opioid overdose prevention that deserves further investigation. Youth firearm injury remains a major cause of death and disability in adolescents. Despite a lack of robust injury prevention research on the topic, the development of novel approaches to access and examine firearm injury data is leading to exploration of public health approaches to reduce these injuries. Finally, despite legislative and educational efforts surrounding child passenger safety and graduated driver license laws, motor vehicle crashes are still a leading cause of injury for both children and adolescents; however, research on these laws holds the opportunity for significant reduction in injuries. Focused efforts to reduce unintentional injuries from opiate overdoses, firearms and motor vehicle crashes may produce a breakthrough in the field of injury prevention similar to that of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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